How long have you dreamed of doing something extraordinary with your life? Or had a feeling deep down, maybe waaaay deep down, that you were meant to do something more than what you're currently doing?
As creatures of comfort, we have a way of hanging our dreams up like an old guitar and allowing them to collect dust while we tell ourselves we'll "get to it some day".
I have wanted to learn how to play the guitar since… well, since I was a kid and my dad would strum me to sleep.
He wasn’t a “guitar player” really… but he could strum a pleasant tune and hum along. I always told myself that “someday” I’ll learn how to play.
As with anything, I suppose, I wanted to KNOW how to play guitar but I didn’t actually want to LEARN how to play. The learning part was hard, painful and time-consuming.
When I was 48 years old, however, I thought I would do something for myself and I bought a guitar. It’s an Ibanez for any of you guitar buffs who might be wondering. Decent, but nothing special. I bought the “Guitar For Dummies” book and even had all of 2 private lessons before Life threw me a curve ball.
And that was that. I put the guitar away.
I refused to store it in it's case because I thought, if it goes in the case, I’ll never get it out. Out of sight, out of mind. I’m pretty sure I was right because I hung it on the wall (where it looked cool) and didn’t take it down for the next 5 years. For a while I felt a twinge of guilt every time I looked at it hanging there until at some point it just became part of the decor... another wall-hanging.
Every once in a while I'd take notice of it again and think “I’ll get it down 'someday'".
I have grown to realize that if I want to play the guitar, I’ll have to become a person who is willing to be disciplined enough to suffer through learning how to play the guitar. And that’s obviously someone I’ve not been before.
And in order to make that decision, I had to ask myself, “Why do I want to play the guitar?” and “How bad do I want it?”
I decided that I really do want to play the guitar. More than that, I want to become the person who will choose to grow in a new skillset; guitar-playing. My fingers are tender from holding the chords and I get frustrated because I can’t quite make my fingers stretch across 4 frets and still hold those strings down tight enough so that the sound that comes out is like those old door stoppers. The kind that was a tightly wound spring with a rubber tip that you could bend over and let go, creating a vibrating BOING sound.
But when I feel frustrated, I remember why I wanted to do this: I want to play the guitar.
The suffering and frustration won’t last forever.
It’s all part of the process of becoming a “guitar-player”. The tenderness in my fingertips is necessary in order to build the calluses that will serve me in the future. My fingers will either learn to stretch across the frets or I’ll adapt and learn an easier chord that will still sound…. Good enough. I’m not going for public performance-worthy playing. I just want to keep learning until I can enjoy the music and eventually feel… proud.
So what does this have to do with Entrepreneurship? It’s a metaphor…
Becoming an entrepreneur, unless you are already a business owner, is a new skill. Like becoming a musician, it requires a new skillset.
If you want to have something you’ve never had before; freedom, flexibility and options then you have to be willing to grow and learn and stretch yourself and become a someone you’ve never been before.
You have to ask yourself those same questions: “Why do I want this?” and “How bad do I want it?”
When you are frustrated and ready to throw your laptop out the window, remind yourself that it’s all part of the process.
You are growing. You are learning. You are becoming an Entrepreneur.
The ‘calluses’ that you are building on the fingertips of your mind will serve you well as your business grows. And you are not going to stop until you feel proud.
It all starts with a single Decision.
Take the metaphorical guitar off the wall (or out of the case)! Decide to begin. Time is going to pass whether you do or you don’t. Where do you want to be in 5 years? Or 10 years?
Live large. “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.” — Goethe
There are a number of ways you can begin learning the process of becoming an online entrepreneur. There are a number of books and blogs that offer sound advice. You can find a ton of information on Youtube and Google and you can learn which ‘tools’ you’ll need from web-hosting, to an auto-responder, to Landing Pages. And there are a host of good people to follow and learn from.
There’s also these guys:
I have chosen the SFM because of their integrity and their all-inclusive business system which gives me all of the aforementioned tools (and more), top-notch training modules and support as well as live events hosted in various countries and locations several times per year. I don’t have to spend time or energy searching for individual tools and resources.